Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/19/16
The 8-week Harvard Bok Teaching Certificate online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework
The first step to getting certified as a teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level and earning your bachelor's degree.
All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Enrollment in and completion of an approved New York State Teacher Preparation Program will satisfy all credit requirements.
Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.
The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.
Keep in mind that all states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to become a certified teacher. New York State requires teachers to obtain a master’s degree in teaching (or a related discipline) within five years of the completion of their initial degree.
Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.
While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For teacher scholarships specific to the State of New York, visit our New York Teacher Scholarships page.
Next, you'll need to complete the appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). This program provides tests to assess potential teaching candidates’ knowledge and skills regarding content, theory, and practice. Testing requirements vary depending on one’s desired certification(s).
The Academic Literacy Skills Test consists of selected-response items, two focused constructed-response items, and one extended written assignment. The ALST measures academic literacy skills necessary to teach effectively in New York State public schools.
The edTPA is a student-centered multiple measure assessment of teaching. It is designed to be educative and predicting of effective teaching and student learning.
The Educating All Students test consists of selected-response items and constructed-response items. Each constructed-response item will share scenario-based stimulus material with several selected-response items. The EAS test measures the professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary to teach all students effectively in New York State public schools.
Required for all certifications
Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)
Measures professional and pedagogical knowledge of Early Childhood (Birth–Grade 2) and Elementary Education (Grades 1–6).
Early Childhood and Elementary Education certifications
Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)
Measures professional and pedagogical knowledge of Middle Childhood (Grades 5–9) and Adolescence (Grades 7–12).
Secondary Education certifications
Content Specialty Tests (CSTs)
Measures knowledge and skill in candidate’s field of certification.
Please visit NYSTCE for content-specific requirements
Bilingual Education Assessments (BEAs)
Measure listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills in the targeted language.
Please visit NYSTCE for content-specific requirements
Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST)
Measures knowledge and skills in career and technical education.
Required for Transitional A certificates and initial certificates in Career & Technical Education subjects
Finally, submit a completed licensure application to get the show on the road! You can create an account with NYSED’s TEACH System to begin your licensing application. All applicants must submit to fingerprinting.
Make sure you have all your supporting documents. Here's a complete checklist of things you need to submit along with your license application for first-time applicants, from the New York Office of Teaching Initiatives:
Supporting documentation must contain your identifying information:
Date of birth or a portion of your date of birth
The last four digits of your social security number
Your current name exactly as it is listed in your TEACH account
Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:
Original official transcripts of all college study
CLEP, DANTE, ACTFL, or Excelsior exam score reports
Documentation of paid teaching experience that has been requested
Documentation of experience for the Initial Certificate